§ Mr. SHERWELL
(by Private Notice): I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the action of the Government in interfering with the supply of coal to manufacturing industries in the West Riding of Yorkshire is greatly accentuating the scarcity of coal already due to the shortage of mine labour and the lack of adequate facilities for railway transport, and that unless immediate steps be taken to remove or to modify the Government regulations many important industries engaged on Government and export work will be compelled to close down and large numbers of workers will be thrown out of employment?
If my hon. Friend will furnish me with particulars of the cases he has in mind, I will look into the matter. The Board of Trade have on particular occasions requested coal-owners to give a preference to public utility undertakings and munition works, and they have called general attention to the necessity of maintaining adequate supplies to by-product coke-ovens, but I am not aware of any regulations such as my hon. Friend suggests.
§ Mr. SHERWELL
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the West Riding of Yorkshire coal-owners are being instructed to withhold the supply for the execution of their coal contracts in the interests of the manufacture of coke and the residuals of coal?
If my hon. Friend will give me particulars of any cases to which he refers, I will certainly have them inquired into.
Yes; and that was the ground on which some communications have been sent out by the Board of Trade to some districts. The necessity of byproducts from some sorts of coal, of course, is always present to my mind.